Saturday, November 28, 2015
Promoting community wellness, lifelong fitness and youth empowerment in communities across the Dine' Nation

Here is a sample of  the adventures that NavajoYES sponsors throughout the year.  


 A young hiker in the Navajo Mountain highcountry

We lead outings throughout the year in some of the finest country on the planet.   Here are some of the highlights:


We will be offering Grand Canyon treks throughout the school year, including many overnight and multi-day trips below the rim. Spending a night in the depths of Grand Canyon is an epic adventure for all of us. We want to make this adventure a reality for as many Navajo Nation students as we possibly can. We provide all gear, food and trip leaders for the outings.

Grand Canyon Backpacking Trips NavajoYES offers challenging treks for fit hikers to explore below the rim of Grand Canyon throughout the year..  These extraordinary treks incorporate a look at Canyon geology, wildlife & vegetation, the arts, nature journaling and wilderness studies.  We do most of our overnight trips in the "corridor", which include challenging routes and some basic services along maintained trails.  Campsites at Bright Angel Campground (at the Colorado River) and Indians Gardens are most common on these itineraries.  Spring and fall are the optimal time for our Canyon treks, though we do offer wintertime adventures to Indian Gardens.  We also more remote overnight and multi-day treks on the Grandview, Hermit, Tonto, Clear Creek, Boucher, Tanner and New Hance Trails.

Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Backpacking Adventure  - The rim-ro-rim route provides a total Canyon experience, leading hikers from the 8,000-foot spruce and aspen forest of the North Rim into the Canyon on the North Kaibab Trail.  The route traverses the Colorado River at Phantom Ranch before heading through the Inner Gorge and out to the south rim via the Bright Angel Trail.  This five-day trek is for the most fit backpackers only.

Havasupai Backpacking Trip  - Enjoy a moderate trek to Supai, the native village nestled in the depths of Grand Canyon, that is home to some of the most magical waterfalls on the planet.  The trip will explore Havasu, Navajo and Mooney Falls, and enjoy a visit with some Supai students in the village.  We generally do our Supai trips in the spring months.

Grand Canyon Music Festival  NavajoYES has been sponsoring weekend outings to the Grand Canyon each September since 1993.  It's  a great time of the year for some modest hiking, fine fall camping and amazing music at the Grand Canyon Music Festival.  Groups of Festival musicians have also enjoyed reservation visits, sharing music, hikes and meals with rez kids.  .



The Tour de Rez is the event where it all began for NavajoYES  It started as a grueling, two-week journey around the vast Navajo Nation in 1991, and has evolved into an annual experience that offers education in the field in native history, local geography, culture, fitness and nutrition.  The Tour is set up in stages, with schools and groups from around the reservation doing various stages.

While based around adventure, the Tour also incorporates a variety of educational experiences.  Activities that promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle, offer good nutrition, foster a pride in Dine' Bikeyah, encourage students to find their "natural high" and promote lifelong fitness are among the learning components of the Tour.

"Empowerment" is our middle name and it is what we seek to promote through our TDR-based service projects.  Whether it be trail-building in the Carrizo Mountains, park restoration in the Chuskas, an irrigation project in Monument Valley or improvements at the Navajo Zoo, students are consistently reminded that they can indeed make a difference in the world around them.

(More details on the Tour de Rez section of the website)



The Chuska began in 1995 as a benefit ride for NavajoYES and continues today as a fabulous blend of autumn riding, stunning scenery and great activities.  The Chuska today includes both youth and adult riders, which allows young riders the chance to interact with some very strong adult riders from throughout the region.  Live music, engaging presentations, cool videos and special activities for school groups throughout the weekend make it an excellent learning experience for students.  (See the 'Chuska Challenge' section on the Home Page for more details about this event.)


'It was amazing to see so much positive energy caught up in the swirl of three days.  We all got so much. Thanks.'  - Chuck, participant in NavajoYES outing



Rainbow Bridge Backpacking & Trail Maintenance The Rainbow Trail on the western flank of Navajo Mountain leads to Nonnezoshe, Rainbow Bridge, the largest stone bridge in the world.  The trek, which is usually done during the spring or fall months, includes some modest trail work, some of the most stunning campsites in the region and a sampling of Dine' history from the area.  Some of our Rainbow trips culminate with a boat journey across Lake Powell to Page, Arizona.  Weekend trail projects, based at the old Rainbow Lodge, will occur throughout the year.

Navajo Moutain Summit Series - The highest spot on the rez - 10,388-foot Navajo Mountain - is such an amazing place to explore, that we have decided to do it four times this school year.  We're planning to hike the mountain in the fall, snowshoe it in the winter, trail run it in spring and backpack it in the summer.  We're hoping to have many groups joining the journey to the top of the rez, so let us know if you want to be part of a summit team.

Paradise Loop Ride Benefit Mountain Bike    A weekend of fine mountain biking in some of the most spectacular canyon country of northern Arizona and southern Utah is what you get on the Paradise Loop Ride.  The fully-supported ride begins in Shonto, Arizona and covers a scenic route to Navajo Mountain, Utah where riders enjoy a taste of traditional cuisine in the shadows of  the sacred Naatsisaan.  The vistas over the weekend include the surrounding mesas and canyons, and a magical glimpse of Lake Powell upon the entry to Piute Canyon.  The weekend will also include health education activities and screenings, nutritional tips that work and personal fitness strategies and stories from some of the adult riders.  Youth will also learn some of the history of the area from the Long Walk period.

AND THERE'S MORE: No Man's Land, the San Juans, Black Mesa, the Carrizos, MV, the Chuskas . . . .

We do lots more mountain biking, hikes and overnighters in lots of other amazing places throughout the year, including the sites above!  It's a big and amazing rez and we try to play in the whole neighborhood.  Our exact schedule and itinerary for these places depends upon the interests and needs of the participating schools.  We plan outings in new places all the time and are happy to work with schools to develop trips that serve their students best.


And now, for the details . . . .  All of these outings require some major planning and preperation.  If you want to do one of these trips, contact us early so we can plan appropriately with you.  We like to meet with school staff and students at the school prior to embarking on one of these outings.  On all of our outings, we ask that schools provide transportation and pay a modest $50 fee/student to cover some of the costs of the trip.  NavajoYES will provide backpacking equipment (backpacks, crampons, waterbottles, etc.), high-quality camping gear (including tents and sleeping bags), most food, permits, learning activities and trip guidance.


For more information or to your school involved, contact:
Tom Riggenbach
P.O. Box 1487  Teec Nos Pos, AZ   86514  
(928) 429-0345

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